The Golden Rule

My dear friend and really funny motivational speaker, Kelly Swanson recently wrote a blog “Nice or B****y – Who Wins?” which got me to thinking about a recent conversation I had with my daughter Kate (age 9) who now – more than ever – is conflicted as to whether her dad is irritatingly smart or rather irritatingly silly.

You see Kate came home from school feeling really proud of herself and the things she was learning… during dinner we learned all about Monet and French impressionist painting and then after Goodnight Stories and Prayers, as we sat chatting, she shared with me The Golden Rule – “Do unto others as you’d like them to do to you.” Not able to leave it alone and reminiscent of Greg Kinnear (who plays the role of the dad striving to build a career as a motivational speaker and life coach) in the movie Miss Sunshine…

“Sweetheart, I think that’s wrong.”

“No Dad, I’m right… you’re wrong… my teacher taught this to us.”

“Well maybe she’s wrong?” (To be clear, I’m not real proud of this conversation)

“She’s not.”

“Do you like coffee Kate?”

“Nope… you know I don’t… you do.”


“Exactly what Dad?”

“If I brought you something to drink and I followed your Golden Rule, I might bring you a cup of coffee.”

“You know I don’t like coffee Dad!”



“Your teacher is wrong… the Golden Rule should be: Do unto others as they’d like to be done to.”

“You’re giving me a headache Dad. Please may I go to sleep now.”


Success simplified; lessons learned down a hippo's throat. Speaker, Author, Coach who will parachute in when traditional solutions won’t get it done.

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  1. Oh Paul, I’m dying laughing over here.  That is perfect.  Just so perfect.  You must tell this story again from the stage – it’s BRILLIANT!  Thank you for making me laugh today!

  2. Paul, loved it! As parents AND motivational speakers we can’t help but teach truths. Your daughter may roll her eyes now and again, but she’ll be ahead of the pack with you as her Dad.

  3. Beautifully said Paul!  I have never thought about it from that perspective. Can’t to share this! It will help many!

  4. Nothing worse than going to bed with a headache!  Hahaha!  But methinks she has as sharp a mind and wit as you, papa, and got another valuable nugget of wisdom that day!  Sweet!

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